For all the saints (a prayer for pastors)

Saturday night
the phone rings after dinner
an unfamiliar number
a daughter calling to say
her father has died
blessed saint of our church
on this All Saints Day

Holy God

all at once
the list of saints
in tomorrow’s bulletin
is one name too short
and one name too long

for all who grieve
for all their saints
for all your saints
we pray

Loving Father

have mercy on us
when we miss our dear ones

have mercy on us
when we haven’t said goodbye

have mercy on us
when we have to break the news

Some of the Dancing Saints at St. Gregory of Nyssa, San Francisco; by iconographer Mark Dukes.
Some of the Dancing Saints at St. Gregory of Nyssa, San Francisco; by iconographer Mark Dukes.

Kind Mother

hold on tight
when life shakes us
when loss shocks us

comfort the ache
with long-lost stories
remembered laughter
artifacts of love
we pray

love never leaves us
and so we thank you
for all the saints

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